Nov. 23-Dec. 6, 2015
Rating: 5/5 White Roses
In 2011, a generation said goodbye to a beloved franchise with the premiere of the final “Harry Potter” movie.
On Nov. 20, the same generation bid adieu to another favorite, “The Hunger Games,” with “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2.”
The final Hunger Games movie finished the trilogy with a bang (literally) and is arguably the best book-to-movie adaptation ever made.
The movie begins with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) trying to regain her voice after Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) strangled her at the end of the last film.
Everdeen, who is hurt by the cruel way Mellark treats her, asks to be sent to District 2, where she is the target of an assassination after giving a moving speech.
Katniss’ speech in District 2 is one of the most pivotal moments of the film. She speaks to a group of Capitol Loyalists.
“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill you,” said a man holding a gun to her.
“I can’t. I guess that’s the problem,” Katniss responded.
“I’m done killing the Capitol’s slaves,” she added. “I’m done being a pawn in his (president Snow’s) game.”
While recovering and upon realizing that the Capitol has turned Mellark into what Everdeen refers to as “a Capitol mutt,” Everdeen is determined to assassinate Snow (Donald Sutherland).
But, President Coin of District 13 (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) wish for Everdeen to be the face of the revolution instead of fighting in it.
Katniss sneaks off to the Capitol, where she joins a band of rebel soldiers, including Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth), Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), Cressida (Natalie Dormer) and Pollux (Elden Henson).
Avoiding deathtrapsplaced throughout the city, they attempt to get Katniss to Snow.
Both “Catching Fire,” the second movie in the franchise, and “Mockingjay, Part 1” were incredible adaptations, but neither of them kept as true to the book as “Mockingjay, Part 2.”
But if you saw the first two movies and “Mockingjay – Part 1,” you didn’t need to read the book to be able to follow the rest of the story.
There are also several moments of unexpected hilarity, and not just from Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson), the usual comic relief.
At one point, Katniss screams at her sister’s cat and throws objects at it while the cat sits there and stares at her.
Johanna Mason (Jena Malone) is the funniest character, next to Abernathy. Her snarky attitude and hatred of Everdeen lead to several hilarious scenes.
One criticism the trilogy has received in its movie adaptations is the lack of physical handicaps seen in the books.
Katniss’ hearing loss and Peeta’s prosthetic leg following “The Hunger Games” were absent in the movies, as well as the acknowledgment of Avoxes, people the Capitol punished by cutting out their tongue and rendering them mute.
The creators of “Mockingjay, Part 2” must’ve heard the criticism because Pollux, an Avox helping Katniss in the book, is included as an important role in the movie. The addition of Pollux also means the use of sign language, which adds diversity to the film.
Hutcherson shines as a boy trying to come back to reality, while Hemsworth isn’t as good as in previous films.
Sutherland continues to act evil, personified in Snow, with blood-stained teeth to match, and Moore is excellent as a woman bent to become the nation’s next dictator.
But, as always, it’s Lawrence who outshines them all, proving that the role of Everdeen must’ve been created for her.
“Mockingjay , Part 2” is an excellent end to a wonderful story. You won’t need as many tissues as you did reading it, but be sure to have some handy, just in case.